Jeff Bezos credited Amazon customers and employees for funding his space mission on Tuesday (July 20) morning.
Bezos, who currently ranks as the richest person in the world, reached an altitude of 66 miles during the successful 10-minute space flight, which was the first human flight of his company Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket.
"I want to thank every Amazon employee and every Amazon customer because you guys paid for all of this," Bezos said. "Seriously, for every Amazon customer out there and every Amazon employee, thank you from the bottom of my heart very much, it's very appreciated."
While Bezos, Amazon's founder and former CEO, may have intended to show his gratitude, his comments will likely be met with criticism as Amazon's operations have come under intense scrutiny, which led to the company's nationwide unionization effort, Business Insider reports.
NBC News reports Branson's space trip served as a test flight for Virgin Galactic, which is aiming to start rocket-powered commercial flights with paying customers in 2022.
Branson, 70, shrugged off notions of competition with Bezos, though the timing of the two flights appears to be part of a yearslong rivalry between Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin and others trying to gain an advantage in the space tourism industry at the time of his mission on July 11, NBC News reports.